Come to grips with Forester

NT News - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

NOT quite a ‘‘city car for dirty week­ends’’, Subaru’s Forester SUV is still a ver­sa­tile lit­tle diesel, writes KARLA PIN­COTT HERE are a lot of rea­sons why you would buy the Subaru Forester 2.0 diesel, and re­ally only a sin­gle one that might pre­vent you.

The hur­dle is the sixspeed man­ual trans­mis­sion, which is no­tice­ably notchy when you first shake hands with it and, while it be­comes more pleas­ant on fur­ther ac­quain­tance, is hard to warm to.

But that out of the way, one of the first rea­sons to put the Forester on your com­pact SUV list is the new en­gine.

It’s the four-cylin­der turbo-diesel boxer (flat) unit from the Out­back, which claims a com­bined fuel econ­omy of 6.4L/100km, drop­ping to 5.7L on the high­way and still main­tain­ing a cred­itable 7.5L around town.

That fru­gal thirst re­sults in emis­sions of just 168g/km of CO2 (151g/km high­way), which puts it well

Tin range of many mid-sized pas­sen­ger cars.

But it’s no wimp, de­vel­op­ing 108kW of power at 3600rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1800-2400rpm, with just 10Nm less at a very low 1600rpm.

That helps it to a 1600kg braked tow­ing ca­pac­ity, which is 200kg more mus­cle than its nat­u­rally as­pi­rated petrol sib­lings.

And that torque is go­ing to all four wheels with Subaru’s sig­na­ture all­wheel-drive sys­tem. PACK­AGE AND SAFETY

The Forester is roomy for its size, with plenty of legroom front and rear, and am­ple cargo space for a few suit­cases even be­fore you think of putting the rear seat down.

The cabin is com­fort­able and well-de­signed, with the only down­sides be­ing the flat­tish seats, and Subaru’s in­sis­tence on a satin met­allised dash in­sert that stands out loudly from what is oth­er­wise a well-shaped sweep of dash.

LOT TO LIKE: The Forester is roomy for its size and it has am­ple cargo space for a few suit­cases

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